Turkey Burger with Hachiya Persimmon

Herbed Turkey Burger with Ripe Hachiya Persimmon

The food lover understands discord. We seek out skilled chefs who can craft harmonious dishes built from disparate flavors. We marvel at the balance of savory and sweet (fatty piece of earthy foie gras glazed with a crackling caramel glaze), earthy and acidic (a perfect oyster topped with a spoonful of a red-wine and shallot vinaigrette), and salty and sweet (a butterscotch pudding finished with Maldon sea salt).

So then, why is it this food lover gets so confused by the existence of dissonant emotions? Why can’t I feel comfortable with a moment of joy during a moment of crisis? Why shouldn’t I feel a simple happiness during a grief-stricken moment?

I understand how opposing flavors can be compelling and intriguing. But when it comes to holding opposing emotions—fear and excitement, joy and pain, grief and happiness—at the same exact moment, I start to question the validity of my experience. How can I smile when someone I love wants nothing more than to die?

Can we accept the existence of problems—major and minor alike–and still accept the joy, happiness, and pleasures that come our way?

Thanks to an epiphany about acceptance, I’m starting to think the answer is yes.

Life is bittersweet, salty, tart, and lots of other things in between. There’s room for joy and pain in the same instant.

Now that I’m back home from Food Blog Camp, I’m faced with the actual realities of life. My job needs attention. A close family member is in crisis. The house needs to be cleaned. My family is full of fear, uncertainty, and a whole range of emotions as we join together to try to help overcome the emergency. A friend reaches out for help and support. The car needs gas.

When my husband made me this turkey burger with Mahon and ripe persimmon, yesterday I swooned. For a moment the sea of sadness and fear parted and in its place I was given joy, excitement, and happiness for all the beautiful things I have in my life.

There on the plate, my husband proved to me that disparate things—a savory burger with a sweet and ripe persimmon, or the feeling of deep sadness and extreme joy—can exist together without canceling each other out.

Any food lover can tell you that complexity is what makes a dish truly great. Why shouldn’t that be true of life?

Thyme Turkey Burger with Ripe Hachiya Persimmon

I never heard of persimmons until I moved to Los Angeles, so it took me a while to learn the magical ways of this gorgeous variety of fruit. The delicate Hachiya Persimmon is best enjoyed when extremely ripe—it should feel like a water balloon when it’s ready to be eaten. Slice it and serve it a top this burger. Eat the rest with a spoon or put it in a shake for a midday snack!

Serves 2-3 (depending on how big you like your burger)

¾ lb ground turkey (dark meat has the most flavor)

½ teaspoon fresh thyme

1 egg

1 small onion, grated (take the skin off first!)

1 ripe Hachiya Persimmon, sliced

Salt and Pepper, to taste

Maldon Sea salt

Serving Suggestions: Mahon, Whole Grain Mustard, La Brea Bakery Sunflower and Honey bread (or your favorite bread or bun of your choosing)

Mix the thyme, grated onion, and an egg into the ground turkey. Form in to 2 or three burgers. Season the outside of the burgers with salt and pepper. Cook in a heated skillet for 8-15 minutes (approximately 4 minutes per side) depending on the depth of your patties. Turn as little as possible. When the burger is cooked all the way through (slice into the burger to test the done-ness or check with a thermometer), add a slice of Mahon, turn off the heat and cover the frying pan to melt the cheese.

Toast the bread (I prefer one slice for an open face sandwich) slather with whole grain mustard. Top with the burger and then a slice of the ripe persimmon. Sprinkle the Hachiya persimmon slice with a pinch of Maldon. Serve!

12 Replies to “Turkey Burger with Hachiya Persimmon”

    1. Cathy,
      thank you for your encouragement and fast read. I so appreciate the immediate feedback! xoxoxoxox

  1. Compartmentalizing life is a task we undertake only to fail at it all the time. I love my kids but sometimes I don’t like them. I’m sorry you’re going through some hard stuff. It doesn’t sound fun at all. But, I’m so happy you are taken care of and that you have persimmons. Lucky! Persimmons is so great. Enjoy it.

  2. I think that being able to hold on to enjoyment of the small things through sadness and difficulty can keep us afloat through tough times, and pave the way back to joy when sadness and difficulty pass. A turkey burger with persimmon can mean a lot.

  3. Sorry to hear you are going through some tough times. Having said that, things can’t be that bad when you take a look around and see that you are surrounded by people who love you. The proof is in this burger… 😉

  4. I am often torn with guilt when a moment of silliness breaks the momentum caused by sorrow, grief, or worry. And then I feel guilty for not allowing those moments to surface more often.
    It is hard to give yourself permission to laugh, smile, and enjoy small things during a period of distress, but that makes us stronger and gives us endurance to be there when needed.
    I hope that you get to enjoy many more of these sweet moments in the New Year.
    (I have just discovered persimmons, and I know it is going to be a long-lived love affair:)

  5. As the very wise Truvee said in Steel Magnolias, “Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.” Wishing you strength through the storms.

    And I’m very excited to be planting a Hachiya persimmon tree in our yard.

  6. Hit “Submit” too soon — Persimmons are an apt metaphor — when they lose all their leaves for the winter, the fruits finally ripen — you wouldn’t see the beauty of the fruit if it weren’t for the loss.

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